Stage Management

Topics: Theatre, Stagecraft, Stage management Pages: 1 (430 words) Published: July 9, 2012
A stage manager is essentially the head traffic controller of a live theater or television production. Once the director has issued his or her final notes to the cast, the stage manager usually assumes command of the physical stage area. All of the various technical crews, such as lighting, sound, props and scenery, report directly to the stage manager, who in turn remains in constant communication with the director by in-house phone or wireless headset. The head stage manager has a number of duties to perform, some of which may be delegated to other stage managers or assistants. During the rehearsal process, the stage manager's most important role is to record all of the blocking, lighting cues, prop usage, costume changes and entrances of all the performers. This usually requires shadowing the director and taking copious notes. A stage manager is also responsible for scheduling rehearsal times and making sure those times are respected. During rehearsals, it falls on the stage manager to make sure understudies have sufficient time to learn their roles in case of an emergency. The stage manager is also bound by theater tradition to supply the daily coffee before rehearsals begin. On the day of the live performance, a stage manager may have to deal with both technical and human crises. An actor may not be able to perform due to illness, or a crucial prop may disappear. A good stage manager must learn to think under pressure while maintaining some semblance of order and timeliness. Actors often depend on a stage manager or an assistant to count down the time until the curtain rises. Indeed, it is the stage manager's job to issue the familiar call of 'Places Everyone!' shortly before the performance begins. During the performance, a stage manager might also be responsible for cuing the lights, sound or scenery changes. Notes for all of these cues are often contained in a notebook, which inspired the theatrical description of a stage manager's job - "running the...
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